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Waikato Hereford breeder vying to be next FMG Young Farmer

A rural banker who breeds Hereford cattle has joined the race to be the next FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

Sam Tipping, 25, has clinched a spot in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional Final after winning a qualifying event in Hamilton.

“I entered the district contest to benchmark myself. To come out on top was a bit of a surprise,” he said.

Sam is a Hamilton-based agribusiness partner with BNZ, a position he’s held since September last year.

In his spare time he runs Kamaro Herefords, a thriving beef stud which he established in Waitomo in late 2013.

“I’ve got about 30 breeding cows. Last year I started an artificial insemination programme to help fast-track the herd’s genetic gain,” he said.

The Hamilton City Young Farmers member is a former fencing contractor whose work took him to Fiji.

“I spent a month erecting fences on a research station. The humidity was a killer,” he laughed.

Sam took out a junior sheep judging title at Hawke’s Bay premier agricultural show last month, winning a trip to Perth.

“It’s awesome. I’m a cattle breeder who’ll be representing New Zealand in sheep judging,” he said.

Before then, Sam will compete in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year in Matamata.

He’ll face off against Josh Cozens, Colin Tremain and Nico Mather-Fabrello.

Nico is second-in-charge on a station west of Huntly which fattens 10,000 lambs and 1600 bulls a year.

“I knew the fellas who got through to the regional final last year and I thought ‘I could beat them’, so I entered,” he said.

The 24-year-old studied at Taratahi and spent six weeks in the United Kingdom in 2013 as part of an exchange.

“We visited arable farms, through to sheep, beef and dairy operations. It was a pretty surreal experience,” he said.

Nico was recently elected chair of North Waikato Young Farmers.

“I plan to focus on the mental wellbeing of the club’s members. I want to get them off their farms more,” he said.

The Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year is on March 23rd.

The four remaining finalists will be decided at qualifying events in Piarere and Cambridge over the next fortnight.

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